KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Three impact players have joined the Kansas City Monarchs as the club sets its sights on its fourth straight division championship.
Catcher Gavin Collins, outfielder Dylan Rosa and lefty pitcher Trey Jeans have signed with the American Association club for the 2023 season, the Monarchs announced Thursday.
They’re the latest names to join the club that finished with the best record in the AAPB in 2022. Monarchs fans can find the team’s up-to-date roster at MonarchsBaseball.com/Roster.
‘Grinder’ Collins Brings Pedigree to KC
Collins is a native of Southern California who comes to the Monarchs from the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He appeared in 16 big-league spring training games earlier this year for the Rays.
Gavin Collins – Tampa Bay Rays (1)* pic.twitter.com/CCNWkMJHNY
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) March 10, 2023
“He’s a grinder. He’s played at an extremely high level, and he can handle the guys on our pitching staff that can pitch at that high level,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said of the catcher. “He’s been there and done it, and that’s really exciting.”
Collins was a 13th-round draft pick by Cleveland in 2016 after an impressive college career at Mississippi State.
In his last year with the Bulldogs in 2016, Collins hit .302 with an impressive .922 OPS. Collins was teammates with Monarchs outfielder and former major leaguer Jacob Robson at Mississippi State.
Collins’ most recent pro action came at the Triple-A level with Columbus in Cleveland’s organization. He slashed .235/.326/.370 with the Clippers over 41 games last year, hitting four homers.
Touch ‘em all, Gavin Collins! pic.twitter.com/kFe8zdEVBu
— Columbus Clippers (@CLBClippers) June 12, 2022
A catcher by trade, Collins also has plenty of pro experience at third base (142 games in the minors).
Rosa Takes Exciting Skillset to Monarchs
Rosa joins the Monarchs after five seasons in the Detroit Tigers organization, most recently with Triple-A Toledo last year.
An 18th-round draft pick by Detroit out of Kent State, Rosa has impressed with his defense plenty of times in his career.
— Tom Reisenweber (@ETNreisenweber) July 31, 2022
The Chicago area native earned first-team All-MAC honors his final season at Kent State, hitting .314 with 14 home runs and 50 RBIs in 47 games, good for a 1.044 OPS.
“Dylan has some power, really good defense, and he’s a great person,” Calfapietra said. “He reminds me of some of the great athletic outfielders we’ve had in the past.”
— Tigers ML Report (@tigersMLreport) August 21, 2022
Rosa has mostly played corner outfield in his career, but has pro experience at center field and first base as well. He was also teammates with Robson as the two moved up the Tigers farm system.
Eye-Popping Strikeout Rates Highlight Jeans’ Signing
Jeans, who’s from Texarkana, Arkansas, is entering his fourth professional season and first in the American Association. He spent three years as a Chicago White Sox prospect, reaching Double-A last year.
— White Sox Daily (@dailywhitesox) August 31, 2022
The White Sox drafted Jeans in the 33rd round in 2019 out of Louisiana-Monroe, where the left-hander posted a 3.76 ERA his senior season.
A starter in college, Jeans moved to the bullpen at the professional level. He struck out 11.9 batters per nine innings over 33 games (one start) between High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham last season.
“When you look at his strikeout numbers, that’s a lot of swings and misses,” Calfapitera said. “To get that many strikeouts as a left-hander is impressive. We’re hoping he can continue that rate with us in Kansas City.”
The Monarchs open their 2023 season on Friday, May 12, on the road. The Monarchs’ home opener is set for Friday, May 19.
About the American Association
The American Association of Professional Baseball played its first season in 2006. It is a professional partner league that is affiliated with Major League Baseball but not specifically with any one team. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the South of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase 3their talents for a chance to be signed by a major league team.
About the Kansas City Monarchs
The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. This year, they are celebrating their 20th year of baseball in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. The Monarchs won ten Negro American League championships and two Negro League World Series championships in their history. The team featured numerous notable players over the years, including Hall of Famers Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, and Buck O’Neil.